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Old 07-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #50
MotoLara OP
ADV rider wannabe
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Oddometer: 855
Day 7 (283km): On the road to nowhere

This is a tale of two halves and it all started at 20 degrees this morning. It didn't really cool down overnight, and the campsite was cooking pretty early in the morning. We packed up in a hurry. It was a straight shot back onto the paved road to 150 Mile House. The speed of the road and the coolness of the morning were very nice. We got kind of lost when we hit highway 97, accidentally turning into 150 Mile House before continuing on to Williams Lake. Where are the signs?

We gased up and supplied up in Williams Lake. In th parking lot of Save On foods a nice gentlemen from Likely gave us a present, some booze. It was a very nice gesture and we thanked him for his kindness.

Going grocery shopping

Free booze from a good samaritan

After stocking up in Wlliams Lake we headed for familiar territory, the turn off for Chimney Lake. This time though we went straight, en route to Dog Creek. The road was paved to Springhouse and then turned to gravel, however it was a very nicely maintained road. Kinda of busy with traffic actually.

The start of the dirt section

We enjoyed beautiful desert vistas throughout the ride to Dog Creek, quite a contrast to yesterday which was typical BC mountains and forest. The weather was really starting to heat up too. It felt like we were in a different country, this is not the riding we typically associate with BC. When we reached Dog Creek we saw all the sights because once again we got lost. It seemed like a nice little town but very hot and dry. I think the people that saw us riding by, twice, were a little surprised.

Another sunny day! that's 7 straight days of sunshine now?

Climbing up

Drier lands towards Dog Creek

Ever changing BC vistas

Just amazing

I wanna be in the picture too!

Naomi snapping a photo of me

It is a good workout to get the 'perfect' photo

The road to freedom

A hint of New Mexico?

Black and white for a change. Nice eh?

After leaving Dog Creek down down down we went as we descended the valley down to the Fraser river. We crossed the river, and to our surprise there was a sign, so we knew which way to turn. Yay! The riding was amazing, nice and twisty with a really consistent road surface. We were really getting into a rhythm. Everything was flowing together nicely. I was having a blast.

This could be in Peru... or Bolivia

The descent to cross the Fraser River

The money shot

The road ahead

Naomi is somewhere in there

There she is!

What a ride it was!

Another bridge shot

We eventually left the valley and dry plains as the road snaked into the forest. Still some of the best riding we have done in BC. Los of elevation changes, up and down, turns and challenging road conditions. The riding had it all.

We took a short lunch break at the side of the road in the shade. It was a nice break with some tasty treats. A quick map check showed we were making good progress and expected to be in Gold Bridge for the evening. The riding continued in its awesomeness until suddenly we reached the gate for Black Dome Gold Mine, it was locked, and after we consulted our map we realized this wasn't the road we wanted it be on anyways. The plot thickens.

Leaving the drylands and into the forest

Lunch break

Road block #1 ... more to come?

Anyone interested in buying a gold mine?

So we went back the way we came, keeping an eye out for the turnoff we had missed. There were no signs, and we didn't remember seeing any turnoffs so we were guessing. There was a a road but it seemed a little less travelled at first, and then became really sketchy. We hoped for the best though, and continued taking it. There we're huge ruts, and it was very difficult riding. I fell twice. Up, down, side to side the road twisted and turned through the forested mountains. We came across a couple of side roads but continued on the main path, as the side roads looked even sketchier. When we eventually saw a sign it was for the Churn Creek Protected Area, wait a second we left that area a little while ago. Hmmmm....

Left or right? ... decisions, decisions...

Naomi landed hard on her shoulder on this one

Having some fun

Tight corner, uphill, loose gravel... loss of grip... heading into the ditch: ABORT & JUMP SHIP!

We crossed a creek, drove through a field, up a hill, stop. There was a gate, but we were free to open it, just unfortunate that it was at the top of a steep hill with large loose rocks. Alberto dropped his bike trying to park and open the gate. Through the gate, up some more hill and oh wait, we are merging into a more "main" looking road. Right or left, we chose right. We continued for a ways and then came to the conclusion that we were heading in the wrong direction. We looked at our map and still had no idea where we were. There were no signs, no landmarks for reference and no working gps. We figured that we might as well continue on the road and hope that it was either going the right way or that it would lead us to somewhere that we could use to locate ourselves on our map.

The good news was that it did lead us somewhere we could place on the map. The bad news is that it was back on the Black Dome Mine road that we had left hours ago. We had just ridden a frustrating circle to get back to the corner where all the cows were hanging out. We looked at our map again, and decided that we should have taken a left instead of a right back at the intersection. So we went back the way we came. Sadly taking a left led us to a dead end at a quarry. Strike 2.

Crap. We were going round in circles, and starting to get tired and frustrated. We looked at the map again. Hmmm there was a Perlite Mine on the map, which is where our dead end led to and where we were currently located. Based on all the information we had collected in our travels we now had enough landmakrs to locate ourselves on the map, and we thought we knew what to do now.

Back on the road we turned off at the intersection, back through the gate, through the field, over the creek onto the new road, which was descending. Good this is good, we are going in the right direction. It was a little rough going but progress was being made. Round we came through a switchback and oh crap a tree and washout in our way. This is a dead end, and a tricky place to turn around. We both dropped our bikes trying to retreat.

Now Alberto's turn... tight corner, uphill, ... y'know how it goes

Another angle

La Gringa resting on her belly. Hard to tell in the photos but it was STEEP as hell

Amazing how much heavier the bikes get when you are getting very tired PSSOR to the rescue

Found lots of these little plants all over the place

This led to quite a bit of energy expended, and a lot of faith lost. Exhausted we had one last option to try, another road we remember seeing and that was shown on the map. This was it, for all the marbles. The road started off okay, there were a few fallen trees but nothing Alberto couldn't move. We were making slow progress due to the obstacles but we were getting somewhere. I fell again in some mud, and then there was a river crossing followed by a huge rut. Some more trees and large rocks and then we hit a roadblock, a large tree that could not be relocated. It had already been kind of tough, and now things just got a whole lot tougher.

Riding w/out a helmet... not a good practice. Things we do when we're completely exhausted

Easy to make mistakes when you're tired.

5 trees later this one was the one Alberto couldn't move.... what now?

Still determined to make things happen Alberto road the bikes into the forest around the tree. It was pretty intense, but he made it. This little side project ate up a huge chunk of energy and time. But we were moving again. A few more small trees and then finally we had to admit defeat. There was a full tree roadblock in our way, again. We weren't getting past this one and we were both completely exhausted and demoralized. We couldn't go on, we didn't want to face all the obstacles we has left behind in our current state.

Riding uphill in the forest is no easy task... many fallen trees on the wet ground didn't help

Exhausted ... @ full speed, trees everywhere... very sketchy stuff

It was 6:30pm and we were done. Couldn't go on, our hydration packs were empty. We camped at the side of the road. So exhausted we could barely set up camp. What started out as such a good ride has now deteriorated. We have reached a dead end and will have to retreat. Tomorrow we tackle the obstacles we thought we were leaving behind, sigh.

This is the face of defeat

We've camped on 'the side' of the road before... but never 'ON the road'

@ the time it all felt like a bad dream....

MotoLara screwed with this post 07-30-2012 at 03:00 PM
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